This year, First Night Danbury enters its 22nd year as the city’s popular family friendly, alcohol free New Year’s Eve celebration, its “Looking Up & Moving Forward.” That’s this year’s theme, a nod to the fest’s venerable history and to the Danbury Main Street Partnership, for which First Night serves as a year-end acknowledgement of the ongoing excitement of what’s happening downtown.
Buttons, providing entry to all events, are $7.50 and may be purchased at City Center Danbury http://citycenterdanbury.com and at various local outlets http://www.firstnightdanbury.org/buttons. Groups of 20 or more may purchase buttons at $5.00 each at the CityCenter offices until 8:00PM on Friday, December 30th. Phone: 203-792-1711 for details.
The City swings into action on December 31 with its popular Run into New Year 5 K race that begins at 3:00 PM on the Danbury Green. Runners sprint down Main Street, through Rogers Park and back to City Center where the race began. There aren’t any water spotters, so make sure you are hydrated before you start your run on this fairly flat course.
The entry fee is $20 through December 30th, and $25 on Race Day. Register on active.com through Friday, December 30th. Or, register on Race Day from 1:30 to 2:30 pm at the Danbury Arena, 1 Independence Way, adjacent to the Green. There you can also pick up your Race packets and a First Night Danbury button to provide entrance to this year’s entertainments. All pre-registered runners will receive a 5K commemorative T-shirt. Overall Winners will receive trophies, and medals will be awarded to Winners in their Age Groups.
The fun continues throughout the afternoon with stilt walkers, giant puppets, storytellers, comic opera, gospel singing, Chinese puppet theatre, salsa dance classes, and much more, ending with a Grand Finale at 7:30 pm on Library Plaza. The centerpiece of the event, a vaudeville at the 1928 Palace Theatre http://thepalacedanbury.com features the Airborne Jugglers, that lets audience members steal the show; Boston funny man Peter Gross, whose interactive comedy has entertained visitors far and wide; and Israel’s Natalia Paruz, “The Saw Lady,” who has presented her contemporary vaudeville with major symphony orchestras worldwide.
Another highlight of First Night is being served up by the Danbury Museum and Historical Society. Colonial Dance Master, Fran Hendrickson offers family fun at the Danbury Museum and Historical Society www.danburymuseum.org. by explaining colonial dancing, music and history from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM. This is a participatory activity and all are welcome to come in costume. This event is free and open to the public.
The historic Rider House, owned by the Danbury Historical Society and located in the heart of Danbury on 43 Main Street will provide the setting for a traditional, colonial meal. Dinner will include Butternut, Parsnip & Pear Soup, White Bean & Turkey Stew with Root Vegetables; Corn Bread and Indian pudding. The historical society will also offer a vegetarian version of this colonial feast.
The cost of the dinner is $15/adult and $10/child but will be discounted if you present a First Night Button to $10/adult and $6/child. First Night Buttons are now available for sale in the museum gift shop. Dinner will be served on a first come, first served basis. Reservations are recommended and can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 203.743.5200.
First Night Danbury concludes with fireworks at 8:30 p.m. For a complete list of venues and events visit http://citycenterdanbury.com.